Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Physics and Astronomy



First Advisor

Timir Datta


In 2010 the Physics Nobel prize was awarded to A.K. Geim and K. Novoselov [1], famous for their spectacular demonstrations of diamagnetically levitated living animals. My MS research is an investigation to develop a novel magnetic suspension capable of operating under ambient conditions without any cryogenics. The physical problem is to freely suspended an object, the proof mass (PM) in stable equilibrium under the combined actions of gravity and magnetic forces. Earshaws's theorem enunciated in 1842 prohibits such a possibility.

After the discovery of diamagnetism by Michael Faraday, Lord Kelvin predicted that diamagnetic systems are immune to this theorem. As the Bohr_Van Leeuwen's theorem proved that the origin of magnetism is quantum mechanical, however, many aspects of magnetic behavior can be treated classically.

Recently, Berry, Geim and collaborators [Eur J Phy, 18, 307 (1997); J. of Appld. Phys 87, 6200 (2000)] showed that stability of a diamagnetic PM, or a magnetized PM . The proof masses in this work can be even be unmagnetized still we show that with an appropriate diamagnetic stabilizer equilibrium is achieved along all three Cartesian axes. The forces follow the Bio-Savart field due to localized current loops but at short distances are well represented by algebraic power laws. Experimental procedures for direct measurements of the magnetic image forces and physical modeling will be discussed